Florida Daycare Abuse Lawsuits
On May 24th, of this year, a Lake County, Florida daycare worker was arrested and charged with child abuse after deputies say she pulled a chair out from under a 4-year-old boy, causing him to strike his head.
Earlier this year, Kimberly Reid, a daycare owner in Clermont Florida was shown on video beating a four-year-old while he was lying down and then picking him up and dropping him 3 feet. She was also charged with child-abuse. It was reported on Fox News that Reid has a criminal record.
A large percentage of Florida’s pre-school children spend at least a portion of the day in daycare centers. Florida daycare centers have a duty to protect children from reasonably foreseeable harm. Accidents to children do not “just happen” because they are children. Most can be prevented if proper safety guidelines are followed but an unfortunately high number are the result of child abuse. When a worker accepts the responsibility to care for a child a special relationship, requiring a heightened duty of care is, is established. When that responsibility is ignored and a child is abused, a crime has been committed.
Child abusers can be experts at avoiding detection though threats to the child or by manipulation. Parents should be aware of the possible signs that a child may be physically or sexually abused.
Physical Daycare Child Abuse
If a child is coming home with marks or bruises inconsistent with play; that should be something requiring investigation. Scraped or bruised knees are common injuries most kids will receive. Some other marks such as bruises or cuts to faces, arms, legs, back buttocks should be considered suspicious. Missing tufts of hair may be a sign of hair pulling. Imprinted marks made by an object like a ruler, belt, hanger or hand should be immediate red flags and investigated. Abuse from another child (bullying), that goes ignored by adults, is also a form of child abuse.
Some common signs of physical abuse are manifested in a child’s behavior:
- Runaway attempts from the daycare center
- Nightmares or nighttime terror
- Frequently playing sick to try to avoid the daycare.
- Fear when being dropped off at the daycare.
- Sudden aggressive or rude behavior
- Being withdrawn or dazed
- Poor concentration, attention or memory
- Frequent crying
Sexual Daycare Child Abuse
Sexual child abuse is something that no one likes to talk about but it does happen more frequently than most people realize. There is nothing more horrific than for a parent to discover it has happened to their child. Sexual abusers are often experts at psychological manipulation. The may use threats, intimidation, rewards or praise to get what they want. They are also experts at avoiding detection.
Some common signs of sexual child abuse:
- Sudden changes in behavior such as the use of bad or obscene language, obstreperous behavior, being withdrawn.
- Genital soreness made noticeable by scratching or trouble with walking or sitting.
- Seeking inappropriate affection
- Coming home with rewards in the form of toys or sweets
- Talking about a new older friend
- Contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
- Blood stained underwear
- Having an unfavorable view of their body as dirty
- Sexual nightmares
Emotional Daycare Child Abuse
Emotional abuse to a child can have detrimental effects that can affect a child psychologically for years or even a lifetime. There are no physical signs but behavioral signs may be evident. Emotional abuse includes name-calling, public humiliation, and corporal punishment, threats, striking objects near the child, raising a threatening hand to the child or anything that is deliberately done to make the child afraid, embarrassed or hurt.
Look for the following signs of emotional daycare child abuse
- Any strong changes in behavior
- Diminished pride and confidence. Putting themselves down
- Emotional withdrawal
- Regression such as thumb sucking, rocking, fist pounding or head banging
- Nightmares or insomnia.
Daycare Neglectful Abuse
Often undetected, neglect is the most common form of child abuse. Neglect is when basic needs are not met like leaving children without supervision, improper hygiene such as diaper changes, hydration, and first aid.
Unannounced visits to the daycare center are a good way of detecting neglect. If they try to keep you out or stall your visit, beware.
If You Suspect Daycare Child Abuse
If you believe your child has been physically, sexually or emotionally abused or neglected at the daycare center it is important to speak to your child and ask about any unpleasant things that happened that day. It is also important to meet with a child psychologist to discuss counseling and therapy. And of course, remove the child from the daycare immediately.
It is also a good idea to retain an attorney who is experienced in daycare abuse lawsuits. You may be able to recover compensation for the cost of therapy, counseling and alternative day care services.
Dolman Law Group is an experienced Florida daycare child abuse law firm. If your child suffered from any form of abuse we want to help you. Child abuse is a crime and at Dolman Law Group we want all child abusers to be held accountable. Many daycare workers are not properly vetted before hiring and that makes the daycare center responsible. Was your child allowed to be alone with only one adult? Call Dolman Law Group today and speak to a qualified attorney. The number to call for a free evaluation of your case is 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765